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Applying for education and training

Applying for upper secondary school

Apply for upper secondary school via the upper secondary level joint application process (yhteishaku) in February-March. You can apply for upper secondary school if you have completed the basic education syllabus or a syllabus corresponding to basic education. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

Students are normally accepted into upper secondary schools on the basis of the grades displayed on their comprehensive school-leaving certificate. In addition, some upper secondary schools arrange an entrance exam.

If you would like to attend an upper secondary school for adults, contact the school directly. You cannot apply for an upper secondary school for adults via the joint application process (yhteishaku). When you apply for an upper secondary school for adults, your grade average does not matter. More information on education and training opportunities is available on the Studyinfo.fi website.

If you would like to improve your skills in the Finnish language before applying for upper secondary school, you can apply for preparatory education for upper secondary school. Read more on the Infopankki page Preparatory education for upper secondary school.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying for upper secondary school in the joint application processFinnish | Swedish

Applying for vocational education and training

The type of vocational education and training for which you can apply, and the application procedure, depends on your existing education.

  • You can apply for comprehensive school-based vocational education and training if you have completed the basic education syllabus or a syllabus corresponding to basic education.
  • You can apply for upper secondary school-based vocational education and training if you have completed upper secondary school.

You can apply for the above-mentioned education and training via the continuous application process throughout the year or the upper secondary level joint application process (yhteishaku). The joint application process is normally held in February-March and September-October. Fill in an application in the Studyinfo.fi service.

If you have already completed a vocational qualification or a university degree, you cannot apply via the joint application process. In that case, you can apply directly to the educational institution through a separate application process intended for those who have already completed a qualification or degree. You can also apply for vocational adult education and training.

Student admission criteria vary depending on the education or training for which you apply. Admission is typically based on points, which depend on the applicant’s school certificate grades, among other things. Many education and training providers also arrange an entrance exam or aptitude test.

If your mother tongue is other than the language of instruction, you will need a certificate of language proficiency. This can be, for example, a comprehensive school leaving certificate from Finland. The Studyinfo.fi service provides further information on the certificates with which you can prove your language proficiency. If you do not have a certificate of language proficiency, you will be invited to a language test.

If you would like to acquire more knowledge and skills before applying for vocational education and training, you can apply for VALMA education. At VALMA education, you can also improve your skills in the Finnish language. Read more on the Infopankki page Preparatory vocational education.

If you need special support for your vocational education and training due to, for example, a disability or learning difficulties, apply during the application period for special needs education.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying for vocational education and training in the joint application processFinnish | Swedish

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Continuous application process for vocational education and training Finnish | Swedish

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Admission criteria for vocational education and trainingFinnish | Swedish

If you have a foreign school certificate

If you have completed comprehensive school or upper secondary school abroad, you may be selected for vocational education and training on discretionary grounds. Selection on discretionary grounds is based on an assessment of

  • your need for training
  • your ability to successfully complete the studies.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Admission based on the education provider's discretionFinnish | Swedish

Applying for vocational adult education and training

If you want to complete a qualification alongside your job, you can apply for vocational adult education and training. In adult education and training, you will complete a vocational qualification as a competence-based qualification (näyttötutkinto).

You can also apply for vocational adult education and training if you have completed a vocational qualification or a university degree.

When you apply for vocational adult education and training, you must have sufficient work experience.

You cannot apply for vocational adult education and training via the joint application process (yhteishaku). Please check the Studyinfo.fi service or the educational institution for information on how to apply. Adult education and training providers often use a continuous application process.

Applying to a university of applied sciences

You can apply to a university of applied sciences to complete a university of applied sciences degree if you have completed, for example, one of the following:

  • upper secondary school
  • Finnish matriculation examination (ylioppilastutkinto)
  • vocational qualification
  • matriculation examination or equivalent in some other country

Read more on Studyinfo.fi website.

You can apply to a university of applied sciences via the universities’ joint application process. The joint application process takes place twice a year, in the spring and autumn. Fill in an application via the Studyinfo.fi service.

Student admission criteria vary depending on the education or training for which you are applying. The criteria may include your school certificate grades, an entrance test and your work experience. Your previous studies may also affect whether you will be admitted.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying for a university of applied sciences degreeFinnish | Swedish

Higher university of applied sciences degrees


You can apply for a higher university of applied sciences degree if you have

  • a suitable university of applied sciences degree or other suitable university degree, and
  • at least three years’ work experience in the same field as your degree and have acquired your work experience after you completed your degree.

Apply for a higher university of applied sciences degree via the universities’ joint application process in spring or autumn. Many universities of applied sciences accept applications only in the spring. Fill in an application form via the Studyinfo.fi service.

You can apply for higher university of applied sciences degrees provided in foreign languages during a separate application process (erillishaku). Further information and application forms are available via the Studyinfo.fi service.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Higher university of applied sciences degreeFinnish | Swedish

Applying to a university

Apply to a university either through the universities’ joint application process (korkeakoulujen yhteishaku) or during the separate application process (erillishaku) of a specific study programme.

You can apply for most university studies via the universities’ joint application process. This takes place in spring and in autumn. In spring, the range of available alternatives is much higher. For certain studies, the joint application process takes place in January. Find out about the application period in good time. Fill in an application via the Studyinfo.fi service.

You can apply to a university if you hold e.g. one of the following qualifications or certificates:

  • certificate for completing the Finnish matriculation examination (ylioppilastutkinto)
  • vocational upper secondary qualification based on at least three years of study
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma
  • foreign qualification providing eligibility for university studies in the country in which you obtained the qualification

Check at the student affairs office (opintotoimisto) of the desired university whether or not your qualification will enable you to apply. Further information is also available from the Studyinfo.fi service.

When you apply to a university, you will be awarded points on the basis of your matriculation examination and an entrance exam. Prepare well for the entrance exam. Some study programmes accept only a small proportion of the applicants. Some entrance exams include advance assignments.

linkkiStudyinfo.fi:
Applying to a universityFinnish | Swedish | English

Separate application process

Some university study programmes apply a separate application process. This is the case, for example,

  • if you apply to a Master’s degree programme;
  • if you transfer from one institution of higher education to another; or
  • if you have completed studies at an open university and apply to a university on the basis of them.

If you apply to a study programme whose language is neither Finnish nor Swedish, the application process will depend on the study programme. Some foreign language study programmes apply a separate application process, while others accept students through the joint application process in January. More information is available via the Studyinfo.fi service. You can also request further information directly from the higher education institutions to which you wish to apply.

Separate application processes may be held at different times and apply different application procedures. Further information on separate application processes is available in the Studyinfo.fi service.

Postgraduate degrees

If you wish to take a postgraduate degree at a university, contact the desired university directly.

Accepting a study place

The educational institution will inform you by letter if you have been accepted as a student. If you have been accepted, you must notify the educational institution as soon as possible of whether you will accept the study place offered to you. The educational institution’s letter includes instructions for accepting the study place and registering as a student. If you do not accept the study place in time, you will lose it. When you accept a study place, you commit yourself to beginning studies at the educational institution.

You can apply to several educational institutions via the joint application process. However, you can only accept one study place.